on the move
Preparing. Finding. Implementing solutions.
North Carolina A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Newsletter www.ag.ncat.edu August 2010 • Vol. IX, No. 4
Plans for Preferred Future Become Parts of Proud Legacy The SAES launched its strategic plan, for first $10,000, and then another $75,000 in entitled Planning Our Preferred Future, at awards from national competitions from the the beginning of the 2005–06 academic year. Environmental Protection Agency. That plan, laid out in a 17-page booklet, Another group of SAES students was set the SAES on a course of action that has part of a ground-breaking student exchange seen our enrollment and retention increase, program with Ege University in Turkey spurred increases in our external funding and that was a leading milestone on the road focused our work in academic, research and to satisfying goals in the strategic plan’s Extension. The 2009–10 academic year was international theme. Students from A&T’s the final year for this blueprint, and work College of Engineering assisted Cooperative has begun on a replacement plan. This new Extension’s 4-H staff with a series of robotics SAES plan will mesh with the University’s camps that helped the SAES make the grade new strategic plan, the UNC Tomorrow in its strategic plan’s Innovative Technologies initiative and the nationwide goals from theme. A quintet of SAES students majorUSDA’s National Institute of Food and ing in landscape architecture, contributed Agriculture (NIFA). a development plan for shaping a 437–acre Dr. Donald McDowell, the SAES’s site in Randolph County into a senior ceninterim dean, says that “Planning our ter that drew media attention and covered Preferred Future provided us a starting point several bases in the strategic plan theme of and has helped us stay focused the past five “Empowering Individuals, Families and years. Our next strategic plan will continue Communities.” in this vein and move the SAES to the next Odds are strong that some forthcoming level. It will allow us to show the Power of SAES students will be among the thousands the A.” of youths — across the country and around Since the strategic plan was launched, the world — who will be participating in the we’ve used this issue of the on the move 2010 4-H National Science Day experiment newsletter as an annual report card that this fall. An A&T submission, coordinated stacked the preceding academic year’s accom- by Cooperative Extension’s program leader plishments and highlights up for 4-H and youth developagainst the 11 major strategic ment, Dr. Claudette Smith, plan themes. For each of the took first place in a competition 11 themes, the strategic plan open to scientists at all landoffers two-to-four goals or grant universities. This honor measurable objectives, and not only increased our bottom these too have been key criteria line, coming with a $20,000 in evaluating how well the prize, but will strengthen our previous academic year had efforts in science, engineering lived up to the strategic plan. and technology. One of the 2009–10 Two Cooperative Dr. Claudette Smith academic year highlights that Extension nutrition education fits nicely into the strategic outreaches in partnership with plan’s theme of “Protecting the Environment Walmart were high points in the “Minority and Natural Resources” is the Greening of and Environmental Health” theme, and a Sockwell Hall project that a group of SAES $1.3 million USAID grant for a project that biological engineering students put together, will take American know-how in conserva-
Shannon Wiley, a 4-H Youth Development Agent in Guilford County, is part of the team that’s added a robotics component to 4-H offerings.
tion agriculture to Southeast Asia harmonized sweetly with the “Biotechnology and Biodiversity” theme. The two Planning for Our Preferred Future themes that have been guiding SAES in “Maintaining a Responsive Learning Environment” and to “Attract, Retain and Graduate Outstanding Students” were well fortified during the 2009–10 academic year. A 14 percent increase in student enrollment in fall of ‘09 is the score that trumps all others in the learning environment assessment on any report card, and when an SAES student — biological and civil engineering major Wayne Kimball Jr. — takes office as Student Government Association president in the fall of ‘10, the caliber of student the SAES is attracting will be evident to the University community, the entire University of North Carolina system and beyond.
on the move At the start of the 2005-06 academic year, the SAES implemented a five-year strategic plan, “Planning our Preferred Future,” which is organized around 11 primary themes. Here is a theme-by-theme look at some highlights from the 2009–10 academic year. T H E M E 1 : M A I N TA I N A RESPONSIVE L E A R N I N G E N VIRONMENT
Enrollment at the start of the 2009–10 academic year was 931 students, an increase of 14 percent from the 818 SAES students at the start of fall semester in 2008. The largest
produce returns in the near future. All 600– level graduate courses have been retooled so that undergraduate students can receive 500–level credit when they enroll. And the SAES put a foundation in place for its Undergraduate Research Program, with four students selected to inaugurate the program. THEME 3: IMPROVING MINORITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
THEME 5: EMPOWERING I N D I V I D U A L S , FAMILIES AND COM M U N I T I E S
A mid-March issue of the Asheboro CourierTribune ran a report on “promising new developments” for a funding proposal for a new Randolph County senior center that had been infused by SAES community service. The story lauded a development plan — required by the funding agency — that five SAES landscape architecture students had put together with guidance from a member of the SAES faculty. The Courier-Tribune quoted the Senior Adults Association’s director as saying that “the SAES students came up with five alternative design strategies for the entire 437-acre site.” The newspaper concluded that “The end result is a package of ideas that could grow into an impressive development on Asheboro’s southside.”
The Cooperative Extension Program used a grant from the Walmart Foundation to launch two new nutrition education initiatives. The first effort brought a select Dr. Keith Baldwin, Extension program leader and horticulture “Force of 100” teenagers specialist, gives an overview of research into high tunnel THEME 6: ADVA N C I N G to Greensboro for three greenhouse production at the A&T State University Farm during BIOTECHNOLOGY AND B I O D I V E R S I T Y days of intensive trainA&T Extension’s Small Farms Week in late March. In the spring of 2010, a $1.3 million dollar ing that provided them grant from the U.S. Agency for International with enough information Development was announced for a project spike was in graduate programs, which went to return home as ambassadors for healthy that will assist Southeast Asian farmers in from 117 in 2008 to 157 in 2009 (a 34 percent living. Another new Extension nutrition eduadopting the basics of conservation agriculincrease). Undergraduate enrollment more cation outreach sent a team of specialists out ture, which employs sustainable production than held its own, increasing 11 percent (701 to establish an all new “Love for Life” health practices to maintain biodiversity without to 774) from fall 2008 to 2009. Enrollment campaign among mothers and daughters with decreasing yields. Dr. Manuel Reyes of the also got a boost from improved retention limited financial resources. SAES will be directing an international team rates, and the financial aid the SAES provided in assisting farmers in Cambodia and the students — 35 undergraduates and 58 graduTHEME 4: ENSURING A NUTRITIOUS, Philippines, and another team member is Dr. ate students in 2009–10 receiving $1,214,414 SAFE AND SECURE FOOD SUPPLY Osei Yeboah, interim director of the SAES’s in wages — through the Agricultural Research Two additional research scientists joined the International Trade Center. Program. faculty at the SAES’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT) T H E M E 2 : AT T R A CT, RETAIN AND on the N.C. Research Campus in G R A D U AT E O U T S TA NDING STUDENTS Kannapolis in the 2009–10 academic It’s a revealing insight into the caliber of stuyear. The CEPHT faculty is now at dents the SAES is attracting that two of three work on eight research projects repnewest additions to the top-tier leadership resenting approximately $2.5 million of A&T’s Student Government Association in funding. The CEPHT faculty also for the 2010–11 academic year will be SAES has 10 pending research proposals for students. Wayne Kimball Jr., a senior majorfunding that could add as much as ing in biological and civil engineering, takes $2.2 million to the budget. the helm of the SGA executive board as SGA CEPHT contributions to the president, and Carla Saunders, a senior majorspecific Theme 4 goals of more eduing in agricultural education and communicacational opportunities in nutrition tions, was elected Miss A&T and also gets a include a graduate student fellowship seat on the executive board. program, and support for three inter- Joe Thompson, the winner of the 2010 Gilmer L. and Two investments in attracting outstanding disciplinary post-doctoral research Clara Y. Dudley Small Farmer of the Year Award, built students made in 2009–10 will undoubtedly associates. his success story around innovations in aquaculture.
Preparing. Finding. Implementing solutions.
T H E M E 7 : E N S U R I N G T HE VIABILITY OF S M A L L S C A L E A G RICULTURE
The SAES’s Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Project celebrated its eighth anniversary in 2010, and the project’s track record includes 600 farmers and landowners who have been trained to grow and market shiitake, maitake and other varieties of mushrooms. A comprehensive new curriculum for training Extension agents and farmers in outdoor shiitake production has been developed by Cooperative Extension and published under project auspices. T H E M E 8 : P R O TECTING T H E E N V I R O N MENT AND N AT U R A L R E S OURCES
SAES biological engineering students hosted a gathering of student chapters of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) from nine universities that they capped off with a tree-planting ceremony commemorating their “Greening of Sockwell Hall” project that was funded with a $10,000 award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Sustainable Design Competition. The winning plan was for a rain garden around Sockwell with a low-maintenance landscape that conserves water. The team of students was then one of 14 winning teams from universities across the nation to get a second award from EPA — good for an additional $75,000 — and the delegation traveled to Washington for an award presentation as part of the EPA’s Earth Day celebration.
studying the cultural, historical and economic contexts in the three Gulf Coast societies with support from the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program. THEME 10: USING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
A program coordinator at the helm of Cooperative Extension’s 4-H and Youth Development work, Dr. Claudette Smith, put together a collaboration with faculty from the Department of Biology and the College of Engineering that won a national competition among land-grant institutions from across the U.S. to lead the 2010 4-H National Science Day experiment. In October of 2010, thousands of young scientists from around the globe as well as across the U.S. will be using materials secured through the National 4-H Council website to conduct the 4-H2O experiment developed at A&T. The reward for the good idea is a $20,000 prize that will be used to further programs and activities oriented to 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) initiatives.
courses — up from 59 in 2008–09 — and all four SAES departments now have online course offerings. Three online degree programs are in place: bachelor’s and master’s programs in agricultural education, and a master’s program in agricultural economics. The strong repertoire of courses now available online was a key element in the steady increase in student credit hours generated by the SAES in the past five years. The SAES recorded 14,407 student credit hours in 2009– 10; up from 13,721 in 2005–06. THEME 11: EXPAND RESO U R C E B A S E AND MAXIMIZE RELAT I O N S H I P S
During the 2009–10 academic year, the SAES Agricultural Research Program moved into first place among the University’s schools and colleges in funded research, with more than $16.36 million in awards. The SAES was able to grab the lead in the funding race thanks to the hard work of a faculty that submitted 88 proposals during the 2009–10 academic year — a total almost double the previous year’s submission tally of 47. There was an above
T H E M E 9 : P R O M O T I N G INTERNATIONAL T R A D E A N D E C O N O M I C DEVELOPMENT
The first goal of this theme is preparing faculty and students for life in a global society, and the SAES recorded several firsts that were spot-on this goal in 2009–10. A member of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education faculty chaperoned five SAES students on a trip to Turkey that capped off their 2009–10 academic year with an international study experience. The same USDA Capacity Building Grant that made study abroad a reality for the five SAES students also provided funding for four Turkish students to come to Greensboro for a month of study at A&T. Another first for the SAES’s international activities resume was Dr. Paula Faulkner’s six-week visit to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait as a member of a group
In March 2010, the staff for the SAES’s Child Development Laboratory cut the ribbon at a new campus location, near Webb Hall, where the facilities are more in line with the 5-star rating the Child Development Lab has received from the N.C. Division of Child Development.
Another of Cooperative Extension’s 4-H and Youth Development collaborative efforts led to the launch of a robotics program for youth living in low-income communities in 2009. Students from A&T’s College of Engineering assisted the Guilford County 4-H staff. The A&T robotics team also conducted a series of robotics camps across the state this past summer. The SAES is now offering 81 online
average success rate of 35 percent, as 31 of these proposals were awarded funding. The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T also had a banner year in grant funding. More than $1 million in grants was announced, including a landmark $658,000 grant from the national children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) program that will establish a network of community gardens in North Carolina.
on the move
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North Carolina A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Newsletter Produced by the Agricultural Communications and Technology Unit
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Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr., Chancellor Dr. Donald McDowell, Interim Dean, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Willie T. Ellis Jr., Associate Dean, Administration Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, Associate Dean, Agricultural Research Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, Associate Dean, Administrator, The Cooperative Extension Program North Carolina A&T State University is a land-grant high research activity institution and AA/EEO employer. Send change of address and correspondence to: on the move Newsletter Editor Agricultural Research Program CH Moore Agricultural Research Station Greensboro, NC 27411
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on the move/flip side Mark Your Calendar Aug. 16 First Day of Fall Semester Classes
Oct. 6 4-H National Youth Science Day Experiment
Oct. 9 Homecoming 2010 (vs. Morgan State)
Oct. 18 & 19 Fall Break
The 2010 Research Apprenticeship Program brought 20 high-caliber high school students to the A&T campus for four weeks of on-campus introductions to scientific research. The RAP experience includes one-on-one project guidance between each student and a member of the Agricultural Research Program faculty.
Preparing. Finding. Implementing solutions. North Carolina A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Newslet...